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Guiding parents and teachers to navigate the challenges of ADHD

ADHD is a medical condition marked by developmental delays in children and teens, and often leads to challenges in parenting. It tends to be greatly misunderstood by medical and therapeutic providers, who may develop treatment plans that rely on medication as a sole source of treatment to the exclusion of behavior management training in parenting. Parenting interventions are effective, recommended, and have been proven to improve symptoms for children and teens. Most experts agree that ADHD is much (cont'd below)

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Leading Articles about Managing ADHD

ADHD Diagnosis: The Good, The Bad, and The Parent’s Role

By Edward Hallowell

The Benefits of an ADHD Diagnosis All 3 of my children have ADHD. When they were diagnosed with ADHD, my…

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Teacher Training and ADHD: What Should Parents Expect?

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster

How much do teachers know about ADHD and how much should parents be providing information to teachers? Elaine:So one of…

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Steps to College Readiness – It’s Not Too Late

By Judith Bass

The transition from high school to college begins long before senior year in high school. There is no time like…

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Communicating with teachers

Communicating with Teachers for School Success with ADHD

By Diane Dempster

The Struggle Is Real It is heartbreaking and frustrating for parents to witness the struggles their children face in school.…

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Don’t Read That! Why the Media Stokes Parents’ Worst Fears

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

There is so much “news” about ADHD these days. And often, the media is just trying to stoke parents’ worst…

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Reducing Clutter Struggles With Kids With ADHD

By Dana Rayburn

A Blessing In Disguise Growing up as the inattentive ADHD child of a non-ADHD mother, I learned some important lessons…

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Safety Zone

Create a Safety Zone

By Diane Dempster

Can You Handle The Truth? Sometimes it’s difficult for our kids to be honest with us. They are afraid of…

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How to Create a Great Relationship with Your ADHD Child’s Teacher

By Michele Novotni

Having a child with ADHD really reinforced the importance of my building a good working relationship with his teacher. Being…

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embarrassing conversations with your kids

5 Tips for Having Embarrassing Conversations with Your Kids

By Elaine Taylor-Klaus

A few years back, after the stunning death of Cory Monteith (of “Glee” fame), US magazine quoted a source saying, “He…

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(continued) more than a ‘deficit of attention.’ Instead, ADHD can appear as a rather complicated collection of symptoms, manifesting somewhat differently for each individual. It may more easily be understood as a brain-based developmental delay in executive function. It can also be confused with or compounded by the many co-existing conditions that are common for people with ADHD, including anxiety, learning disabilities, depression, asthma, allergies, autism, Tourette syndrome, as well as newer (and less-well-known or researched) conditions, such as rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD).

Executive functions are responsible for how we think, feel, and act. They’re how we get ourselves to do (or not do) absolutely anything. Therefore, the symptoms that lead to an ADHD diagnosis are not just whether or not someone can pay attention, but whether they can self-regulate – whether they can decide what to pay attention to, stick with it, finish what they’re focusing on, minimize their impulses, and avoid getting distracted in the process. That’s what makes parenting so difficult.

The five areas most commonly reflected in ADHD symptoms rely heavily on executive function: attention (focus), impulsivity, organization, emotional intensity, and (sometimes) hyperactivity. Again, when kids, teens or young adults struggle with these issues, it can cause significant challenges in parenting.

Whether parents are trying to get life moving in the mornings or just help their kids and teens manage any or all of their responsibilities, ADHD is best treated by a combination of medication and ‘behavior therapy,’ otherwise known as parent management training, or behavior management training. With training, parenting can work with medication (when relevant) to teach children and teens skills in self-management, and ultimately improve outcomes for the whole family.